SEATTLE (CBS) — Watching the 43,000 Sounders fans in attendance celebrate while leaving CenturyLink Field on a rainy Saturday night, one would’ve guessed Seattle had picked up a big win.
That wasn’t quite the case though, as the boys in Rave Green scored three goals in the final 15 minutes to erase a 3-0 deficit and pick up a point at home against the New England Revolution.
Yet for head coach Brian Schmetzer, the outcome, however sweet the comeback was, did not feel like a win.
“It’s a draw. Yes we came back… But at home, we gotta do a better job of not going down by three goals,” Schmetzer said in his post-game press conference.
Owning a 75 percent possession advantage through the first half, the Sounders were unable to find the final touch. Meanwhile, against the run of play, the Revolution got on the board first.
New England midfielder Daigo Kobayashi launched a shot from 30 yards out right at Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei. Yet the Seattle netminder misplaced it and the ball bounced off his hands, over his leg and into the goal.
“I made a blunder. I gave them a goal and as we know goals are vital in soccer,” Frei said.
“We’re starting to really get into a groove and dominating possession, and I gift them a goal.”
The Revolution would go on to get another goal in the half off a Juan Agudelo header. New England then scored 15 minutes into the second half on a counter attack, again from Agudelo, to take a 3-0 lead.
“They were fortunate to get that first goal. It allowed them tactically play a little bunker and counter game, which they did very well,” Schmetzer said.
Seattle made a few tactical changes of their own, bringing on rookie Henry Wingo, Harry Shipp and, late in the match, Roman Torres up top.
Those moves, and the Sounders constant pressure, eventually paid off.
Nicolas Lodeiro started things for Seattle in the 75th minute, when his shot deflected off New England defender Antonio Mlinar Delamea and found the back of the net.
The scoring continued 10 minutes later, when Will Bruin got his head on a cross, and sent it past New England goalkeeper Cody Cropper.
And then, it was the Sounders captain, Ozzie Alonso, who gave Seattle the final goal of the night to complete the comeback. Lodeiro whipped a ball into the box, and after Gustav Svensson flicked in on, Alonso put a head on it just inside the six yard box.
Joevin Jones assisted on the first two goals, and is now tied for the MLS lead in assists with five.
Statistically, the Sounders were dominant all game, finishing with 74.4 percent possession, 742 completed passes (to New England’s 256), 26 total shots and just four fouls conceded.
And while the only stat that matters in the end is the final score, the Sounders will no doubt take a point over none.
Schmetzer did highlight his team’s resiliency, the same resiliency that carried them through the latter half of last season and ultimately to a MLS title.
“The fight and the determination of that group of players is the mentality of champions,” Schmetzer said. “
“That’s the positive. That’s the only positive.”
The Sounders will be back at it next Saturday at CenturyLink Field in an MLS Cup rematch against Toronto FC. The Reds are 3-1-4 on the season and are coming off a 2-0 win at home against the Houston Dynamo.